Singer/actress Deborah Cox will headline 35th annual fundraising dinner

_steve-pounders-1101From Staff Reports

Dr. Steven Pounders has been named the recipient of the 2016 Kuchling Humanitarian Award, Black Tie Dinner officials announced Thursday, June 23, at the annual Black Tie Sneak Peek event.

Organizers also announced that multi-platinum recording artist and actress Deborah Cox will be featured entertainer at this year’s dinner, set for Oct. 1 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

Organizers said they chose Pounders as this year’s Kuchling Award because he has, for more than 25 years, “served the LGBT community with compassion and dignity through his medical practice, which began at a time when HIV and AIDS were sweeping through the community with devastating impact.”

Pounders also volunteers as medical director of Resource Center’s Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, which provides free medical care to those in need in the LGBT community.

Pounders has “spent decades supporting the LGBT community in Dallas, devoting his time and energy to myriad organizations and impacting thousands of lives,” said Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Nathan Robbins. “As we celebrate our 35th year, Dr. Pounders is an excellent representation of a community leader and an extremely deserving recipient of the Kuchling Humanitarian Award.”

Pounders said that when he found out he had been chosen as this year’s Kuchling Award winner, “I felt humbled to be included on a list loaded with champions of social change and equality for the LGBT community.

“My activism began in 1981, caring for and treating patients with the disease we came to know as HIV and AIDS at UTMB Galveston,” he added. “While I’m very proud of our advancements in medical, legal and civil rights, I realize there is much work ahead.”

Deborah Cox
Cox has recorded six award-winning albums, and her lost of No. 1 Billboard hits includes the double-platinum “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which sat at No. 1 on the R&B charts for 14 consecutive weeks. She was recently announced as the star of the national Broadway tour of The Bodyguard, a musical based on the Whitney Houston movie of the same name. The show comes to the Metroplex next year, as part of the Dallas Summer Musicals line-up from July 18-30, 2017, and at Bass Performance Hall Aug. 1-6, 2017.

Cox is also long-time ally of the LGBT community. She received the Out Music Pillar Award in January 2015, the California State Senate Award in 2014, and The Civil Rights Award from the New York State Senate in 2007 for her contributions to the fight for equality.

Cox was also honored by The Harvey Milk Foundation at the 2015 Diversity Honors for her efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the LGBT community.  And on June 12 this year, she received the Liberty Bell and Proclamation in Philadelphia by Mayor James Kenney to proclaim June 12 as LGBTQ Philadelphia Pride Parade and Festival Day.

Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Mitzi Lemons said the BTD committee is “thrilled to welcome Deborah Cox to the Black Tie Dinner stage this year. Throughout her successful career, Deborah has been a major supporter of the LGBT community, and we can’t wait to share her powerful voice with our community.”

The theme for the 35th anniversary Black Tie Dinner is “Believe.” The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the national beneficiary of the dinner each year, and organizers announced this year’s list of local beneficiary organizations in April. They are: AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Outreach Center, AIDS Services of Dallas, Cathedral of Hope, Celebration Community Church, Congregation Beth El Binah, Equality Texas Foundation, Lambda Legal, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, Northaven United Methodist Church, Resource Center, Turtle Creek Chorale, Uptown Players, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and first time beneficiary, Promise House.

For additional information about the dinner, visit Raffle tickets and sponsorship tables are currently being sold at

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.